My aha moment

luckybottomMay 23, 2014

As most of you know, over the past few years, i have become a fan of the homemade seed tapes. The idea came from this forum and after some more internet surfing, I came up with my own process: mix one cup water and 1 T. corn starch in bowl, heat in microwave for 2 minutes till thick, add another cup of water to thin plus it cools the mixture down. Roll out 4' toilet tissue, spoon small strip of liquid down center. sprinkle seeds down center along fluid. fold in thirds. Allow to dry, over night. Can be saved for months or put out right away.

The aha part came to me in January when I was making the tapes that you see in the photo from today. Why would i use CORN starch, when i use CORN gluten as a weed suppressant? SO I switched to potato starch. You can see how much thinning i am going to have to do with these parsnips.

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Maybe I should have used seed tape for that parsnip seed i put out a month ago! Terrible germination - old seed.

I haven't thought of folding the t-paper. Why not! It's biodegradable paper.

I'm hoping to get back to baby carrots. DW always wants the long skinny ones and they don't grow that way in Rocky Soil! Anyway, One-shot Steve can sow the seed in that April "window" and they come up well enuf. It's missing that window where problems show up instead of seedlings in the carrot patch. That's when the gel works, works, works! . . . never thought of using a different kind of starch . . .


    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:08PM
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I meant to mention that the tapes were put in on April 15th and they germinated May 10th. The 3" of rain that was after the hail storm really set them back the past two weeks.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:48PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Oh, I'm so glad you mentioned the switch to potato starch--I remember reading that just recently and had forgotten about the corn gluten!

It's also a good reminder for us "natural" gardeners that use corn meal as ant control. DOH! Maybe THAT's why stuff doesn't grow there LOL!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 10:41PM
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So now I learned that it is only the corn gluten that causes seeds to dry out as soon as they crack, hence the weed suppressant ability. My cornstarch is gluten free, so no problem to use on seed tapes. I still like the potato starch. It processes smoother with less stirring than the corn starch needs.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 11:55AM
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